Tadeusz Reichstein (1897-1996): a cofounder of modern steroid treatment in dermatology.
Corticosteroids, which revolutionized dermatologic therapy a half century ago, owe their beginnings to Tadeusz Reichstein (1897-1996), who was born in Poland but emigrated in 1905 with his family to Switzerland. Between 1934 and 1944, he isolated and elucidated the chemical structure of 29 pure substances from the extract of the adrenal cortex. All of them turned out to be steroid derivatives, including corticosterone and hydrocortisone. In 1950, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Tadeusz Reichstein, along with Edward Kendall (1886-1972) and Phillip Hench (1896-1965), for their discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structures, and their biologic effects. In 1953, Reichstein isolated the pure crystalline form of a substance with a strong effect on electrolyte and water balance--aldosterone. Reichstein was an author or coauthor of 635 papers, the last ones at the age of 97. He described himself as “a Swiss of Polish-Jewish descent,” but his scientific achievements made him a world citizen.
Department of Ophthalmology, Poznan City Hospital, ul. Szwajcarska 3, 61-285 Poznań, Poland. firstname.lastname@example.org
SourceClinics in dermatology 30:2 pg 243-7
MeSHAdrenal Cortex Hormones
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century